Monthly Archives: April, 2019

Today’s Sportstat: April 18, 2019

A look at the last 10 years of NBA first-round matchups

This year’s NBA playoffs have begun and each of the eight first-round series has seen two games played. The Bucks, Celtics, Rockets and Trailblazers each have a 2-0 lead in their series while the other four first-round matchups are tied at one game apiece.

So how long will each of these series go? How many will be a four-game sweep? Will there be any first-round series that go to a deciding seventh game?

To answer those questions, let’s look at the last 10 years of first-round series in the NBA (2009-2018). There have been 80 first-round series played in the past 10 seasons (four first-round series in each of the two conferences each year).

Following is a chart of how many games each of the series went over these past 10 seasons. It is broken down by the seeded series matchups (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5).

 

  4-game series 5-game series 6-game series 7-game series
1 vs. 8 6 5 7 2
2 vs. 7 7 5 4 4
3 vs. 6 2 5 7 6
4 vs. 5 1 4 10 5
Total 16 19 28 17

 

As you can tell, 28 of the 80 first-round series (35%) in the past 10 years went six games, the most of the four potential series lengths. The fewest were a four-game sweep which happened in only 16 of the 80 series (20%).

Other highlights from the above chart:

  • The most common length of a series was 4 vs. 5 going six games. That happened 10 times in the first round in the last 10 years.
  • The most seven-game series occurred in the 3 vs. 6 series; it happened six times in the last 10 years.
  • The most four-game sweeps happened in the 3 vs. 6 matchup. It happened seven times.
  • Forty-five of the 80 first-round series in the past 10 years went either six or seven games.
  • Surprisingly, the 1 vs. 8 first-round series the past decade went six games seven times and even went the full seven games twice.
  • The 2 vs. 7 series had seven four-game sweeps; the 1 vs. 8 series had six four-game sweeps. You would think the 1 vs. 8 matchup would have more four-game sweeps than any matchup.
  • In the last two seasons, the first-round series went four games three times, five games four times, six games six times, and seven games three times.

If history is any indication, there might be one or two first-round series that end in a four-game sweep. More likely, however, is that the majority of these eight first-round series will see a Game Six or Game Seven.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sportstat: April 15, 2019

The Greek Freak, The Brodie and The Joker join exclusive clubs

In addition to sharing some interesting, colorful nicknames, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook and Nikola Jokic each put up some impressive numbers in the 2018-19 NBA season. So impressive, that their stats from this past season have rarely been seen in league history.

Let’s start with Giannis, The Greek Freak. He became the ninth player in NBA history to finish a season averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. His season totals were 27.7 points per game, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per contest.

Here are the nine players with 25-10-5 seasons in league history.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mil., 2018-19… 27.7, 12.5, 5.9

DeMarcus Cousins, N.O., 2017-18… 25.2, 12.9, 5.4

Russell Westbrook, OKC, 2017-18… 25.4, 10.1, 10.3
Russell Westbrook, OKC, 2016-17… 31.6, 10.7, 10.4

Charles Barkley, Phoe., 1992-93… 25.6, 12.2, 5.1

Larry Bird, Bost., 1984-85… 28.7, 10.5, 6.6

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers, 1975-76… 27.7, 16.9, 5.0

Wilt Chamberlain, Phil., 1965-66… 33.5, 24.6, 5.2
Wilt Chamberlain, S.F., 1963-64… 36.9, 22.3, 5.0

Oscar Robertson, Cin., 1962-63… 28.3, 10.4, 9.5
Oscar Robertson, Cin., 1961-62… 30.8, 12.5, 11.4
Oscar Robertson, Cin., 1960-61… 30.5, 10.1, 9.7

Elgin Baylor, L.A. Lakers, 1960-61… 34.8, 19.8, 5.1

It’s interesting to note that six of the nine players on this list are currently in the Hall of Fame, while the other three, Giannis, Cousins and Westbrook are still active.

Speaking of Westbrook, The Brodie, he had his third straight season with a triple-double in scoring, rebounds and assists. He finished the 2018-19 campaign averaging 22.9 points per games, 11.1 rebounds per game, and 10.7 assists per game. He is now tied with Oscar Robertson with the most triple-double seasons with three.

If we drop the numbers just a bit, The Joker, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, had a historic season. He finished this past season with 20.1 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per contest, and 7.3 assists per game. He became only the fourth NBA player in history to end the season with a 20-10-7 stat line. The others: Westbrook with three 20-10-7 seasons, Oscar Robertson also with three such seasons, and Wilt Chamberlain with two 20-10-7 seasons.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: April 11, 2019

Losing seasons in baseball since 2000

Sometimes losing can become a habit. Case in point: The team with the worst record in baseball through games of April 10 is the Kansas City Royals. They have a 2-9 record, a .182 winning percentage. Since 2000, the Royals have had 14 losing seasons (below .500 winning percentage); that is tied (with the Baltimore Orioles) for the most in the American League. That’s 14 losing seasons over the past 19 years… not a very impressive run, is it?

Over in the National League, we have a similar story. Miami and Colorado are both 3-9, a .250 winning percentage, tied for worst record in the National League in 2019. Over the past 19 seasons (since 2000), the Rockies have had 13 losing seasons; the Marlins have had 14 losing seasons in the last 19 years.

Leading the N.L. with the most losing seasons since 2000 are the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. They each have had 15 losing seasons since 2000, not only most in the National League, but tied for the most in the majors since the start of the century.

The Reds’ record through games of April 10 this season? They are 3-8, a .273 winning percentage… one of seven MLB teams that have a winning percentage under .300 to this point in the season. The Pirates are off to a good start this season with a 6-4 record.

Here’s a look at the number of losing seasons (under .500) that each MLB team has had since 2000.

15-Cincinnati
15-Pittsburgh

14-Baltimore
14-Kansas City
14-Miami
14-San Diego

13-Colorado

12-Tampa Bay

11-Milwaukee

11-New York Mets
11-Texas

10-Detroit
10-Seattle

9-Chicago Cubs
9-Chicago White Sox
9-Toronto
9-Washington

8-Arizona
8-Cleveland
8-Houston
8-Minnesota
8-Philadelphia

7-Los Angeles Angels
7-Oakland
7-San Francisco

6-Atlanta

3-Boston

2-Los Angeles Dodgers

1-St.Louis

0-New York Yankees

As you notice above, the Yankees have not had a losing record in any season this century. The last losing season they had was in 1992 when they went 76-86; that was the last year of four straight seasons with a losing record before their current streak of 26 winning seasons.

The Cards only losing season since 2000 was in 2007.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: April 1, 2019

Does Michigan State become a three-time champ or will it be a first-timer this year?

This year’s Final Four is set with Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Virginia vying for this year’s title.

Michigan State is the only one of the four schools that has won a title; they won in 1979 and 2000. Auburn, Texas Tech and Virginia have never won a championship.

Michigan State is also one of 35 different schools that won a men’s basketball title since 1939. They are one of 15 schools that won the tournament multiple times (20 schools have won only one title).

Of the 35 schools that have won the men’s basketball championship, Oregon has the longest drought… they won one title, that being in 1939. They have now gone 80 years since that first title.

There have been 11 different schools that have won the championship this century. The 11: Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Villanova. UConn, Duke and North Carolina have each won the championship three times this century, Florida has won it twice, the last school to win back-to-back titles.

Here is a look at the last time each of the 35 schools/champs won the title.

1939-Oregon

1941-Wisconsin, 1942-Stanford, 1943-Wyoming, 1944-Utah, 1946-Oklahoma State, 1947-Holy Cross

1950-CCNY, 1954-LaSalle, 1956-San Francisco, 1959-California

1960-Ohio State, 1962-Cincinnati, 1963-Loyola-Chicago, 1966-UTEP

1977-Marquette

1983-North Carolina State, 1984-Georgetown, 1987-Indiana, 1989-Michigan

1990-UNLV, 1994-Arkansas, 1995-UCLA, 1997-Arizona

2000-Michigan State, 2002-Maryland, 2003-Syracuse, 2007-Florida, 2008-Kansas, 2012-Kentucky, 2013-Louisville, 2014-Connecticut, 2015-Duke, 2017-North Carolina, 2018-Villanova

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp